Saturday, April 29, 2023

What If The Bot Sings With It's Own Voice?

 I heard a discussion the other day of the recent hoorah surrounding an AI generated original piece of music using Drake's voice.

The discussion groveled around in all the copyright etc. nuances of such a thing becoming common.

The conclusion was that it's not legal for AI to do that.

So Drake and the music industry are safe.

But what about if AI uses its own voice?

And produces original music.

That can't happen, you say.


A line has been crossed.

Not since the Big Bang has nothing become something with the velocity of the speed of light.

Enter Chat GPT.

Now heading for an exponentially neuroned, already, previously, deep data fed version 5.

(It was version 2 only weeks ago).

I think I understand how dangerous it might be.

But the line has been crossed.

I say let it rip.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Roy Wood Jr. Is My Choice

 Al Franken has gotten the highest ratings in the currently under way guest host extravaganza on The Daily Show.

Second highest has gone to Roy Wood Jr.

I vote for Roy.

But I think it would be spectacular if Al took over Roy's slot as correspondent.

The Colonizer Gets Colonized

 This morning I heard an interview of a local poet.

He is a first generation Mexican American.

He is fluently bi-lingual and writes his poems in both English and Spanish.

After reading one of his Spanish poems a brief discussion ensued between the poet and the interviewer - the interviewer being a first generation Taiwanese American.

Somehow the discussion got into how did the poet choose which language for which poem, or, maybe even, for which part of a single poem - mixed is sometimes good, I guess.

That seemed a pretty valid and pretty interesting subject.

And it was.

Somehow all that led the interviewer to allude to the always lurking malevolence of "being colonized".

She asked the poet about how the fact that "being colonized by the English language" influenced his choice of language.

I did have to suppress a laugh.

Spanish, the great colonizer being "colonized" by the Johnny-Come-Lately to the colonizing game?

"Being Colonized" is a great shorthand way to describe a lot of imbedded evil in our system.

So I suggest that those who use it don't use it in such a manner as to subject it to ridicule.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

This Just In: Boeing Had A Real Good Quarter


Revenues were up 18%.

They only lost 425 million dollars.

And none of their planes took over and flew into the ground.

A banner performance.

Monday, April 24, 2023

Hapless Prom Queen Meets Her Worst Nightmare

 It was tonight on the PBS Newshour.

Leslie Rutledge 

was interviewed by

Amana Nawaz. 

I do admire the Lieutenant Governor for being willing to show up and for keeping a smile as she was dismembered, decapitated and disgraced.

Kinda like the Christians in the arena with the lions in the good ol' days.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

The Tomb Of The Unknown Fetus?

 I'd like to suggest a name for the monument.

Maybe, to be more crushingly slam dunk, it should be Embryo/Fetus.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

An Untenable Position To Take

The militia component of the blowup in Sudan are a product of and pretty much the sole participant in the Darfur genocide.

Rape, looting, mayhem and death are their calling cards.

As should be the case in the sort of nightmare that those facts indicate to be imminent in Khartoum, non Sudanese are scrambling for the exit.

The Saudis are already home.

Jordan looks to be next.

The US State Department has indicated that it has its best people working on getting US diplomats and staff out ASAP.

State has also said that non-embassy-staff Americans are on their own.

"We've been telling them for weeks not to go there, or, if they are there, to get out" a State spokesman said this morning.

That sounds reasonable; we all are responsible for our actions, and need to accept their consequences.

But that apparently reasonable point of view is flawed to the brink of profound stupidity.

I'm pretty sure the republicans are already polishing their sound bites.

"Another Afghanistan" rails one.

"Impeachable incompetence" rails another.

"Worse than 9/11" chimes in a third.

And in hours the airwaves and five-g waves and underground fiber waves of the nation will contain nothing but lies, hate and conspiracy accusations, all aimed at a president who thinks he is sitting on a reasonable proposition.

Get ALL Americans out, post haste.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

A Curious Dichtomy

 Margery the lab rat keeps embarrassing the human race by continually declaring herself its spokesman.

Lauren, the replacement for Ol' Sarah the Mamma Bear with AK 47 - self appointed - keeps embarrassing the citizens of Colorado by being so stupid.

 How can two such embarrassments generate such disparate demographics?

Friday, April 14, 2023

The Great "How Could Someone Only 21 Have A Security Clearance" Fiasco

 When I was 26 I had a Top Secret security clearance, and I was officer in charge of a five-person Intelligence Operation in support of a squadron of photo-reconnaissance F-4 aircraft.

We were in Japan in support of the attempt to do something about the disaster that losing a small navy intelligence gathering vessel and crew to North Korea had foisted upon the United States.

I had had that clearance since I had been 24.

The guy who recently leaked the PowerPoint stuff was 21.

All the press, including NPR and PBS, have focused on since the leak and the leaker have been identified is the fact that the leaker was "only 21".

John Stewart frequently excoriates the Press for vapid and repetitive focus on meaningless minutiae.

Or things that are true, but have no bearing on anything.

Like the fact that Alvin Bragg didn't lay out his entire case against the dildo in excruciating detail on arraignment day.

"What kind of idiot would have done that?" might have been a useful question for the press to ask. 

And exploring the implications of that question might have produced tangible, useable news.

Rather than doing that, they declared something about which they know nothing at all (and that pisses them off) a "nothing burger".

And now everybody is up in arms about a "21 year old kid" having a security clearance.

18, 21, 24 and 26 year old kids are the ones who go to war.

They probably have a need to know what's going on.

So they get security clearances.

The problem isn't their age, it's their values, mores and grip on reality.

I had no values, mores or grip on reality when I was 24 or 26.

I still do not.

Have any values, mores or grip on reality.

But I hadn't been brought up in a Catholic Cult with a lot of video games and didn't have the internet as a vent for my pent-up spleen.

Or an intense need to be known and loved by others such as I.

So, what I knew, and classified stuff in those days wasn't worth a pitcher of warm piss, didn't get leaked.

But that's just the luck of the slime of time draw.

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Working With Bing

 Recently I was in the final stages of publishing a new book on

I was to the point of needing to get serious about cover design.

As luck would have it, I knew exactly what I wanted.

So I engaged my daughter, who is an artist among her skills and talents.

I wanted a line drawing of five cats walking away from me.

She suggested that I try using DALL-E from Open AI.

Since Open AI has Chat GPT and since Chat GPT has been imbedded in Microsoft Bing, and since I had signed up for early testing of the AI imbedded Bing, I decided to see if I could get cover help from Bing.

Here is what happened.

Just to see if Bing would even know what I was talking about I asked if it could make me an image of five cats walking away from me with their tails in the air.

It said "sure".

So that was proof of concept with some extra tails.

Then I asked it if it could do a line drawing of a cat walking away from me with its tail in the air.

Bing said "sure".

Not wanting to ask too much too soon I asked if it could add two cats to the drawing.

Then I asked for two more.

This was the first run at the project.

As the raster image and the line drawings indicate, Bing had some problems with what tails are, where they belong, and how many are five.

But it got me, after some more work to one cat that I could, with Photoshop, make into five and a cover for my book.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Three Things I Have Wanted To Happen

For no apparent reason these things just popped into my mind.

I really would like to see:

1. Emmy Lou Harris and Chuck Berry doing a duet of C'est la Vie Say The Old Folks, or whatever that great song is titled. Unfortunately, Mr. Berry died before it became obvious to him and to Emmy Lou that the world needed that collaboration.

2. Michael Keaton winning the Oscar for best actor.

3. John Lithgow winning the Oscar for best actor.

That's all I really need.

Thirty Four And Counting

Excerpts (in green) taken from a Story by Josh Meyer, USA TODAY 

"Donald Trump’s defense lawyers blasted Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s hush-money case on Tuesday, saying it lacks the kind of convincing detail he’ll need for a slam-dunk prosecution against the first-ever former president to face criminal prosecution."

I guess what donnie's lawyers are saying is that the indictment is bare bones - or something; I guess they wanted Proust.

But the indictment gets the job done: it clearly accuses the dildo of 34 separate crimes.

Nowhere does anything say that Mr. Bragg was required to produce and indictment of the magnitude of a fully fleshed out script from Perry Mason.

All he had to do was specify the crimes: thirty-four instances of falsifying records, those falsifications being in support of other crimes, copious specific details to be provides in court.

That's the case; that was all that was necessary; it forced the dildo to show up yesterday and say "not guilty".

From the defense's viewpoint that must seem maddeningly smart - getting the job done with no supporting detail - thus their theatrical sturm and drang.

"A number of legal experts and former prosecutors, however, said Bragg was smart to leave out critical details of his case in order to gain competitive advantage over Trump’s aggressive team of lawyers and political influencers."

The details of the crimes that those falsified records support are going to be interesting.

"The indictment handed up by a Manhattan grand jury accuses Trump of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records as part of a scheme to prevent stories about Trump’s alleged affairs with two women from going public in the waning days of the 2016 presidential campaign.

"That included paying $280,000 as part of a “catch-and-kill” campaign to silence adult film actress, Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal from telling their stories and hurting Trump's election chances.

"Another $30,000 was paid to a former Trump Tower doorman who was trying to sell information 'regarding a child that the Defendant had allegedly fathered out of wedlock,' according to a statement of facts that accompanied the indictment.

"Such falsifying business records cases are usually filed as misdemeanors in New York state. But at a news conference after Trump’s arraignment, Bragg said  the charges became felonies because the records were falsified to conceal another crime.

“'Why did Donald Trump repeatedly make these false statements?' Bragg asked. 'The evidence will show that he did so to cover up crimes relating to the 2016 election.'”

So the bare bones indictment has some hidden meat on those bones.

And nobody gets to see any of that meat until the trial commences.

To get the criminal linkage for felony conviction, that meat must have some heft to it.

Mr. Bragg looks pretty smart to keep his hog in the barn until he's ready to make some pork chops.

Mrs. Bragg didn't raise no fools.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Big Money In Medical

Tonight I heard on The PBS Newshour how CIGNA can process tens of thousands of claims at two seconds a claim.

And they can achieve that stupendous volume of processing without needing to look at patients' medical records.

It's really efficient: a claim comes in, the system identifies it as having no medical merit and the system passes it to a physician who signs off on the denial.

It's a bulk process denial system.

Decided in advance, no adjudication is required.

It makes a lot of money for CIGNA.

People pay CIGNA for coverage CIGNA decides in advance what their profit margin will allow to be covered.

The bulk denier bundles everybody up and sends them off to the pysician in charge of denial.

It puts a lot of Americans one step closer to bankruptcy.

A few weeks ago, after several HIPPA compliant back and forths with my Primary Care Physician, involving a prescription and its trivial future use I added this message to our message stream.

"Thank you for the amount of time you devoted to this.  

"I love MyChart because of the access it gives patients, but, the manner in which that access dodges the real question of how, and how much health professionals ought to be paid, and how it cedes the answers to those obviously vital questions to the insurance industry, an industry which is really a parasite, not an industry, makes me angry.  

"A few years ago, because I wanted to do a blog post that would, after the necessary discount for me having written it, be somewhat factual, I did a Google study of the European health apparatus. 

"The short story was that that apparatus comes in several flavors: they all have an insurance-like spine, some with a private enterprise body (Switzerland) some a hybrid with both private and public body parts (France) and some public only (UK).  

"None of them were/are for-profit.

"They all are universal.

"In France, I have had personal experience with taxi drivers telling me how good their health care system is, and expressing the deep belief that their coverage is the same as the President's.

"They all cost substantially less than the vaunted US 'Merican system, and they all yield better results. 

"Putting our 'system' in the hands of for-profit insurance seems to me to be archetypical moral malfeasance".